Eldorado Canyon State Park Hikes - Day Hikes Near Denver

June 17, 2010 Comments (18) 2-3 Miles, 3-4 Miles, About 45 Min, Boulder Hikes, By Beauty, By Difficulty, By Distance, By Drive Time, Canyon, Colorado State Park Hikes, Dog Friendly Hikes, Meadows, Medium, Mile or Less, Peak-Top Views, Rock Formations

Eldorado Canyon State Park Hikes

Streamside Trail Bridge in Eldorado Canyon State Park

Eldorado Canyon State Park is a hiking and climbing Mecca tucked into the Front Range near Boulder and Denver, Colorado. In this hiking profile of Eldorado Canyon, we quickly give you the 4 main trails and give you some tips for your time in the canyon. Explore the full trail profile below to get all the details.

Eldorado Canyon is an oasis just about 45 minutes from Denver. Kids will love hiking over rocks along the streamside trail, peering into caves, and gazing up at the climbers on the towering canyon walls. The park features one of the best picnic areas in the state with shallow areas of boulder creek which quickly fill with kids. Close attention is needed in any situation involving water and children. South Boulder Creek can be swift, especially after rains and during the early melts. During these times, the canyon gushes and roars. The sounds are as great as the views.

Fishing at Eldorado Canyon State Park could potentially yield you fish that are eight inches to an average about eight inches to about twenty inches long. For a more detailed guide on fishing here, check out the one at Colorado Parks and Wildlife here.

There is no camping at Eldorado Canyon State Park, although there are nearby areas to do so.

4 Trail Options in Eldorado Canyon State Park

#1 – The Streamside Trail is the shortest (.5 mile one way) and follows close to the sides of the creek and canyon walls.
#2 – The Fowler Trail takes you .7 miles (one way) and provides great views of the canyon.
#3 – The Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is more difficult, traveling 1.4 miles up to the ruins of the Crags Hotel that burned to in 1912. Another trail goes from the hotel another .8 mile loop and features a view of Colorado’s continental divide.
#4 – The Eldorado Canyon Trail is the longest, 3.5 miles (one way), eventually intersecting with the Walker Ranch Loop Trail.

more dog friendly hikes

Tips & Resources for Hiking Eldorado State Park :

  • Go On a Weekday: Eldorado Canyon is a climbing mecca and can reach capacity on the weekends.
  • Picnic: There is a great picnic area at the back of Eldorado Canyon, so pack a lunch or dinner for after the hike.
  • Driving Note: Take care in driving through the town of Eldorado Springs, there are many bikers, pedestrians, and pot holes!
  • After the Hike: Ozo Coffee in Boulder, Colorado
  • Trail Map for Eldorado Canyon State Park: Trail Map Link
  • Climbing in Eldorado Canyon
  • Colorado Road Conditions: Colorado Road Conditions


Map & Driving Directions

Click for Driving Directions

18 Responses to Eldorado Canyon State Park Hikes

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  4. JA says:

    Costs $8 per car to enter the park

  5. Thanks JA, I’m going to add a link to the state park fees page so that people can have access to it.
    Happy Trails,

  6. Erin says:

    Quick question: What is the doggy policy?

  7. Erin,
    Pets are permitted on the trails of Eldorado Canyon if they are on a leash.

  8. Palmer & Co says:

    Great review! We are going to check it out tomorrow!

  9. Hannes says:

    The yearly parks pass was only $59 for me. It gets you in to a plethora of state parks and is well worth it if you ask me. My pooch loves Eldorado, almost as much as me. Connect Eldorado Canyon Trail to Walker Ranch loop and you can really create an epic hike or trail run.

  10. Rio says:

    Great hike, my first time here, definitely not my last. I took a relative from out of town and they loved it as well. Great representation of Colorado hiking.

  11. TJ says:

    Do they have permanent grills here at the picnic sites?
    Also, I am new to Denver, and would like suggestions for parks within 20 miles of Denver that have grills and allow dogs (on leashes).

    Thank You!!!!

  12. TJ, Thanks for the question. Yes, Eldorado Canyon has grills in the picnic area. I believe there are 33 picnic tables back in there, just not sure if all have grills. Check out my post on 7 great picnic areas near Denver: http://www.dayhikesneardenver-com-staging.fcyx1see-liquidwebsites.com/7-great-picnic-areas-near-denver/‎
    I’m not sure if all of the 7 allow dogs, but you can check by clicking on each link to the individual trail/park profiles. One of my favorites would be Lair O the Bear: https://dayhikesneardenver.com/lair-o-bear-park/

    Your best bets are to visit Colorado State Parks and Jefferson County parks. Most have picnic areas and most of them allow dogs. Roxborough State Park is an exception, it doesn’t allow dogs because of the wildlife sensitivity there. Hope that helps, and Happy Trails. AJ

  13. Rachel says:

    Love your website, it’s my hiking where-to guide! We hiked Eldorado Canyon trail today and it was amazing. Your advice and information was spot-on and we got the hike we were hoping for – beautiful views, definitely a challenge, but not hard to find. Thank you!

  14. Thanks, Rachel! Eldorado Canyon is such a great place–the parking just fills up fast.
    Happy Trails, Aaron

  15. Rattlesnake Gulch Trail is closed due to flood damage as of 4/28/2014. The entire picnic area is closed as well.

  16. Kendra P says:

    If I’m packing a picnic, is it okay to open a bottle of wine?

  17. Hi Kendra, Looks like the answer is “no” according to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife FAQ page: http://cpw.state.co.us/buyapply/Pages/ReservationFAQs.aspx

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